From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
A governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Saturday’s primary election in Ondo State, Dr Funmilayo Waheed-Adekojo has declared that the state desperately needs a woman like her to occupy the governorship position.
Addressing a Press Conference at the NUJ Press Centre in Akure on Friday, the female aspirant said women have been marginalized for so long, hence her decision to contest the gubernatorial election.
She also criticized the zoning of the governorship position to a particular part of the state, saying the APC should allow the best candidate to emerge during the primary election.
Dr Waheed-Adekojo said “Findings have shown that when women have the opportunity to serve as political leaders, governments are not only more inclusive but also perform better.
“Women politicians are known to champion policies that improve health services and education systems and they serve as positive role models influencing girls’ career aspirations and educational attainment
“In truth, Ondo State desperately needs more women in government, especially to occupy the number one seat in the state. The Sunshine State and its political institution cannot grow when half of the population is being left behind.
“New leadership and the fresh approach to leadership that women would bring the best hope of improving citizens’ quality of life, combatting the entrenched corruption and underdevelopment bedeviling the state.
“For women, democracy is moving backward, the dwindling number of women in politics in Nigeria is alarming. For instance, since Nigeria re-established democracy in 1999, the ninth national assembly in Nigeria showed a decline in female representation in political offices to the point where today it ranks among the bottom 10% of countries in the world.
“Its female representation in parliament is about six percent nationwide. The country has seven female senators, 11 House of Representative members, three deputy governors and seven women appointed as ministers.
“Down to Ondo, since the creation of the Sunshine State in 1976, no woman has had opportunity to govern the state as those who had tried, had their dreams thwarted during party primaries and since then, men have continued to be in the driving seat of governance and occupying the number One position.
“Another issue that had contributed to the myriads of problems of underdevelopment in the state is the zoning arrangement.
“Undoubtedly, the idea of zoning the governorship position among the three senatorial districts; Ondo Central, Ondo North and Ondo South every four years was instituted with the good intention of ensuring that no senatorial zone is permanently excluded from power.
“Zoning, in its real sense, was a concept with a noble intention of fostering equitable, all-inclusive, and balanced development across the Sunshine State.
“But on the contrary, despite the zoning arrangement by political parties in Ondo State since 1999, the state continues to face significant challenges in infrastructural and human capital development,” she added.